Kaiser Permanente strike: 4,000 mental health workers begin 5-day strike

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Four thousand Kaiser Permanente mental health workers began a five-day strike on Monday amid an ongoing labor dispute.

Four thousand Kaiser Permanente mental health workers began a five-day strike on Monday amid an ongoing labor dispute.

The dispute surrounds under-staffing issues at Kaiser facilities, according to the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The union says the staffing problem forces patients to wait a month or more for therapy appointments.

Contract bargaining began in June.

The union says patients are not getting the care they deserve. However, the HMO said in a statement it has been hiring therapists and increasing staff by 30 percent since 2015, and it has also invested $175 million to expand and improve mental health care offices.

Kaiser says that all of its hospitals and medical offices will stay open during the strike. Kaiser added that anyone who is in need of urgent mental health care will receive the services they require, but some non-urgent services will be postponed this week due to the strike.

The strike will impact 100 Kaiser facilities - including facilities in Hollywood, Fontana and Anaheim.
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